Directionally Challenged

—I need a little direction right now.

First of all, I took this photograph yesterday while riding with my son. I noticed the yellow lines in the mirrors and the Which Way Photo Challenge instantly came to mind. I realize I’ve already used the “rear view mirror” idea, but I had to do it again because I really enjoy how the lines repeat, but they don’t line up.

One of the things I love about word and photo challenges is that they provide you with a little direction. The blank canvas isn’t quite so “empty,” because you’ve been given a prompt to draw upon.

I’m beginning the first project in my design class, and I’ll be designing a mug, a coffee bean package, and a bag for an imaginary partnership; between Starbucks and (INSERT IDEA HERE).

It can be a food, a company, a place, an event, a charity… or whatever it is that I dream up. It’s going to be a fun and challenging project, I’m sure of it. But, in sitting down to name this fictional partner…

I’m feeling directionally challenged.

That being said, I’m hoping that a prompt will get me moving. If you’re reading this… and a wild word or idea comes to mind… please share!

I’m super excited about this month long journey, but first I need to know which way to go…

Until later,
Happy Saturday…
Peace & Love!

Gratitude Hour

Time can be a little deceptive. It’s been two months since the fall semester ended, and—to be honest—it feels like it’s been a year. I’m grateful for the “down time,” don’t get me wrong, but that old familiar feeling… that it’s time to get moving… has taken hold, and Tuesday can’t come soon enough.

It’s kind of like long, out of town vacations. They’re awesome! They’re fun, relaxing, and refreshing, but eventually you reach that point where you just want to go home. So… Daily Addiction’s word today is Inspire, and I’ve been thinking about that word quite a bit (burning the midnight oil again).

In my pondering, I realized that one of the reasons my life, and this blog, have morphed and grown so much over the past couple of years is because so many of you have inspired me.

Undoubtedly, I’ll be online much less once my classes start… so it seems like the perfect time to express my gratitude for that inspiration.

To all the photographers out there, thank you for sharing. Seeing all of your beautiful images inspired me to pick up my camera again… and learn to use Photoshop (well, at least until I get better). Ha!

To all the writers out there, thank you for sharing your words. All of you helped me realize that I DO want to write, and your posts; be it poetry, stories, or commentary, have inspired me to work harder at becoming the best I can be.

To all of the artists out there… I just love what you do. I can’t draw a stick figure to save my life, but thank God for digital art! Thank you for sharing your work with the world and inspiring me to create.

To every blogger who dedicates their time to encourage or teach us something… about God, about recovery, about work, about life or psychology… thank you. You inspire me for sure.

It’s funny too, as I write this post… I see how everything connects… and I can almost see my future unfolding before my eyes. More on that as time goes on.

I’ll still be here as often as possible…

…as the journey continues.

—Janet

Peace & Love!

To anyone who has ever taken time to read, like, or comment on something I’ve shared… thank you to you as well. You inspire me to keep going! ūüôā And now it’s past midnight… and I realize that this post sounds like a big goodbye… but it’s not! HaHa! It’s just a big thank you.

Rise & Shine

I caught a bee in action this morning, in the crepe myrtle, so thought I would share! Hopefully you can spot him. ūüôā

I looked up bee quotes, and really liked this one for today.

The honey is sweet but the bee has a sting. 

Various translations I found: If you want good things you have to pay the price; nothing ventured, nothing gained… or hardships are sometimes a blessing in disguise.

Happy Saturday!

Having Enough

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir

Sometimes I think or say something, and later I realize that it wasn’t 100% correct.

I try to look at it like¬†there’s a lesson that I need to learn, or a new discovery that I can take away from it. I’ve mentioned before that it’s important for me to learn how to live sober, and that DOES (and probably always will)¬†hold true—however—there are other things that I need to DO, and I always¬†seem to put them at the bottom of my list!

Giving. Being of service. Carrying the message. Thinking more of others.

It’s not that I don’t have a huge desire to be selfless… I really¬†DO! It’s that my mind keeps returning to my old thought pattern—which goes something like:

What do¬†you¬†have to offer? You’re not ready. You’re not well enough.¬†You don’t know enough yet.¬†

I can go on and on, but you get my drift.¬†IF¬†I allow myself to listen to and believe¬†those thoughts…¬†I’ll NEVER be ready! There’s this old belief system that was¬†instilled in me at some point in my life,¬†and (sadly) an every man for himself¬†mentality,¬†that keeps telling me… you WILL do great things for others… but¬†FIRST,¬†you need to ARRIVE.

Arrive where?!? I have no clue! It’s like there’s an imaginary finish line somewhere out there, and I keep believing that once I cross THAT, I will be strong enough, good enough, smart enough- or will have enough- to help other people.¬†Like I said before… I’ve been sensing this season coming on for awhile now. This feeling¬†that all I’ve been doing lately is stalling. It’s time to get into action- and start doing¬†more¬†to help those who are in need or are¬†still struggling.

Last night it was becoming clearer,¬†and then today at church… I think God was giving me a message:

It is¬†time.¬†“I” am enough for you.

Blessings… and please stay tuned. I’m excited!

The time is always right to do what is right. Martin Luther King Jr.

A Tale of Redemption

faith2

A few things happened today that really moved me, but¬†I’m only going to talk about one for now. Tonight was the meeting that I co-secretary for, and it turned out to be a pretty emotional meeting.

There’s something that I’ve been wanting to talk about, but I was never sure if the time was right, or if bringing it up¬†was even the right thing to do.¬†Tonight I got the answer (and permission).

I’ve mentioned before that I have three grandsons. A photo of my oldest grandson (who is eight)¬†is here in the blog, buried back in an old post. I have far fewer photos of him than I do of the other two, because I don’t see him that often. He lives with his mother and grandparents, and his father (my son) is now married and has the two younger boys.

His mother is a recovering heroin/meth addict.

I was in my four years sober without a program¬†phase when I met her over eight years ago, and she had just gotten clean at the time.¬†I liked her instantly, and saw a lot of myself in her. Then… she relapsed, and nothing but chaos followed.

As God would have it, she and I ended up at the same church, same Monday night recovery class, and Thursday/Saturday night meetings. Actually, we were both baptized on the same day too! August 14th, 2016.

Anyway, it’s been a LONG journey for her. She has exactly 3 months more time than me, so when I received my nine month chip- she took her one year cake. Tonight I asked her to lead the meeting, and she shared her story for the very first time.

Fifteen years of addiction. From age twenty to age thirty five the longest she was ever able to stay clean was six months. She has moved around- between her parents home, rehab, sober living homes, and the streets.

She has overdosed multiple times, been hospitalized, and finally…

…in December 2015 she gave it to God. She let¬†Him know that He could either help her overcome her disease of addiction, or she was jumping off the freeway bridge.

She never took that leap.

THAT is a tale of redemption.

God bless her.

The photo is the first in my series¬†Finding the Divine in the Mundane. The bird and design is actually painted on the back of a trash bin—at a nearby park.

After hearing her heartbreaking story, I thought it went along well.

God does not make junk.

I’m so proud of you T!¬†I love you!

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you so much to Rev. B. Keith Haney¬†https://revheadpin.org for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award! And for your lovely blog that continually lifts my spirit. The Light Breaks Through is right! I have never been nominated for an award before- so as I said– I am both humbled and excited, to say the least! Coming up with seven things to say about myself is a challenge. Since my blog contains the story of my life, it‚Äôs very hard to think of something that hasn’t been said already!¬†I will certainly do my best.

The Rules

Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog Post about the award Share 7 facts about yourself Nominate at most 15 people Tell your nominees the good news!

7 Facts About Me:

  1. I was the pitcher for a girls fast pitch softball team for about seven years, and was voted All-Star player for five years in row- pitching several no-hitter games.
  2. I’m a bit of a tomboy (do they still use that word?). The “jeans only, no dresses allowed” rule holds true in my world. Ok, occasionally¬†I dress up.
  3. I can eat pasta until it’s coming out of my ears. I cook a pretty mean meat sauce and a pasta with chicken, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes and capers- covered in a lemon butter/parmesan cheese & garlic sauce. (And I’ve just made myself hungry!)
  4. I do NOT like to bake (pastries, etc.). Mainly because the flour usually ends up everywhere but in the bowl.
  5. I’ve mentioned this on comments, but I don’t think I’ve said it in my blog: I’ve always been afraid to fly. I hope to conquer that soon because I want to see the world! I flew only once, when I was about 10, in my uncle’s private plane. We flew over my house! BUT,¬†I was young and¬†that was before I realized what flying was.¬†I’ve never been on a commercial airplane, but I LOVE airports. Seeing all of those people boarding and exiting planes reassures me that I can do this!
  6. I taught myself how to use a computer back in the days of DOS, and dabbled in HTML before I got my hands on website templates.
  7. I obtained my California Real Estate Salesperson license in 2007, and actually found out yesterday that it expired this month! I still have awhile to renew it- but I am hemming and hawing over it, as I’m not sure if I’ll ever use it again. BUT– time will tell. I need to pray on this one (mainly because of the fees to renew it).

I am honored and extremely grateful. Thank you again!

Naming others is hard because everyone I follow is lovely. And I follow A LOT of blogs! My nominees are ten blogs that have¬†visually (or verbally) inspired me,¬†taught me things, and/or encouraged me over the quarter of a year that I’ve been blogging.

https://streetsofnuremberg.com/

https://clicktoart.wordpress.com/

https://lemanshots.wordpress.com/

https://simoneteffect.wordpress.com/

https://laskowitzpictures.org/

https://discoveringandsharinggrace.com/

https://wildernesslifeblog.com/

https://onceuponanape.com/

https://healthy-people-dont-need-a-doctor.com/

https://curryncode.com/

Thank you for sharing beauty- whether it be through your photos or your words, or BOTH- with the world! –

With love,
Janet

 

Imaginary Blockades

We must remember that everything in this world has God’s fingerprints on it—and that alone makes it special. Our inability to see beauty doesn’t suggest in the slightest that beauty is not there. Rather, it suggests that we are not looking carefully enough or with broad enough perspective to see the beauty.

When your life is filled with the desire to see the holiness in everyday life, something magical happens: ordinary life becomes extraordinary, and the very process of life begins to nourish your soul!

– Rabbi Harold Kushner